Monday, May 7, 2007

Hydrogen Fuel for Bikes and Cars

A hydrogen-powered bike sounds like a Cub Scout project from the 23rd century, but there's a good chance such a vehicle will hit the roads later this year in Canada or China.
Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies is readying an electric bike that gets its energy from a hydrogen fuel cell rather than a rechargeable battery, according to Taras Wankewycz, co-founder and vice president of Horizon. The company is talking with government officials in both countries to get these bikes out in 2007, he added.
"About 10 million electric bikes in China get sold every year and the lead acid batteries get discarded all the time," Wankewycz said.
The company is also trying to prime interest for hydrogen-powered fishing boats, mini-cars, golf caddies and toys.
Rather than try to develop hydrogen cars, Horizon is attempting to keep the idea of hydrogen power alive by showing how fuel cells can power smaller items.
Horizon's H-racer, a hydrogen-powered remote-controlled car for hobbyists, for instance, comes with a solar panel that harvests electricity that gets utilized to split water to create hydrogen.
"The reason it works is that people can refill it," Wankewycz said. "We think big but we start small. We want to see the larger applications but we are realistic about when they are going to hit."

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